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One of the primary benefits of filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you might be able to discharge all or nearly all of your debts, without having to follow a three-to-five-year repayment plan. Plus, you can use the bankruptcy exemptions available in Illinois to protect your property from being liquidated to pay the debt. Even if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can put these exemptions to work for you. Talk to your attorney to find out how best to use the exemptions available to Illinois petitioners.

Using and Doubling Bankruptcy Exemptions

Illinois opts out of federal bankruptcy exemptions, and so debtors in this state must use the exemptions established by Illinois law. If you’re married, filing jointly, you can double your exemption amount.

Using Civil Law-Related Exemptions

Let your bankruptcy attorney know if a civil court has ordered you to pay or awarded you any compensation. You can exempt alimony and child support. In some cases, you can exempt an award. Personal injury awards up to $15,000 may be exempted, for example, and some wrongful death awards may apply.

Exempting Crime Victim’s Compensation

Victims of crimes can seek compensation from the state’s Crime Victim Compensation Board. If you received this type of award, you can exempt 100% of that compensation.

Exempting Real and Personal Property

If you own real property, you can use the homestead exemption. It protects up to $15,000 in a residence, farm, or condo. You can also exempt up to $2,400 in one motor vehicle, and you can exempt the following types of personal property:

  • School books
  • Family pictures
  • Necessary clothing
  • Professionally prescribed health aids
  • Prepaid tuition trust fund
  • Certificate of title to a watercraft over 12 feet long

Talk to the team at Cutler & Associates, Ltd. about your unique financial situation. Our bankruptcy attorneys will carefully review your case before providing the recommendations that will help you achieve the best possible outcome.